From Panic to Pleasure: Reputation Alchemy

Thriving in a time of global pandemic

With a global pandemic well underway, it seems like the entire world is online. 

Jobs will shift. Lives will change. Nothing is going to be the same after 2020... and Nothing is more valuable than your good name when it comes to re-establishing yourself in this new world

Why Reputation is more important than ever

So much has happened since my book Online Reputation Management For Dummies published in 2012. When I take a moment to think about how much in the world has changed online over the past seven years I shake my head in wonder.

  • Twitter has become a primary communication tool for world events and fast-moving gossip.
  • People like Greta Thunberg have risen to overnight celebrity. She’s 16 years old and has already addressed the United Nations.
  • There have been gigantic security breaches in governments, banking, and large corporations, resulting in sudden PR calamities.

The Internet has become a global phenomenon, stirring up online trouble that can amount to millions of dollars in revenue overnight.

For example:

  • In 2013, one disgruntled British Airways was so incensed over his customer service experience that he paid $1,000 to promote a Tweet in NYC that showed a screenshot of his “Don’t fly @BritishAirways. Their customer service is horrendous.” Rather than respond in a conciliatory manner and lead the discussion offline, they responded “Twitter feed is open 0900-1700 GMT.” Ouch… British Airways. There were over 77,000 impressions of that paid ad.
  • In 2014, a UK brand leads public humiliation once more as Tesco, a supermarket chain, fresh off a scandal involving selling horsemeat disguised as beef, tweeted that employees were “off to hit the hay…”
  • In 2013, Alicia Keys, 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer and newly minted Global Creative Director for the BlackBerry 10 launch, tweeted out a message via her… iPhone. Two years later, in 2015, BlackBerry urged it’s loyal Twitter following to keep up the brand conversation… via an iPhone tweet. When’s the last time you saw somebody using a BlackBerry?
  • In 2016, Seoul Secret, a beauty brand, launched a“White makes you win” campaign for their skin-lightening cosmetics… I don’t have to tell you how well this message was received world-wide.
  • In 2017, Conservative Senator Ted Cruz liked a lascivious porn tweet via @tedcruz, later blaming it on a staffer’s mistake. Regardless of what actually happened, Cruz’s name was trending on Twitter when he awoke the next morning and his team was suddenly bombarded with questions form reporters and constituents alike.
  • In 2018, Kylie Jenner tweeted, asking “anyone else not open Snapchat anymore?” Snapchat estimates that they lost a staggering $1.3 BILLION to other celebrities dropping their accounts, as well as regular users.
  • In 2019, Snapchat’s support bot gets trolled in savage fashion. It only takes a moment for trolling momentum to take hold, especially when it comes to an AI customer service bot ripe for being gamed by inventive people looking for a laugh. Within hours the auto-reply to unhappy users took on a hilarious life of it’s own with tweets such as this: “I'm lost but there are people running around naked, should I streak?” Snapchat, however, missed the joke and lost tremendous credibility among it’s celebrity users.

Despite some of these more entertaining blunders, online Reputation Alchemy is a responsibility of the highest order. It requires having a solid understanding of how online influence works and how to work with it as effectively as possible.

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